The 2023-2024 US News Top Business Schools report has just been released, with some interesting changes in this year’s rankings.
For the second year in a row, Chicago Booth occupies the #1 spot after a jump from 3rd place two years ago. Following Chicago Booth, Northwestern Kellogg ranked #2 in the 2023-2024 rankings, up one spot from last year. Meanwhile, Wharton fell slightly to #3 after tying for the top spot with Chicago Booth last year.
Falling to #6, Stanford GSB tied with Dartmouth Tuck. This 6th-place finish is a notable jump for Dartmouth Tuck, up five spots from #11 last year. This is the highest and lowest score for Dartmouth Tuck and Stanford GSB, respectively, in the past four years. Stanford’s lower rating is due to the school’s employment data: Just over 60% of graduates were employed at graduation and under 85% were employed after three months. By comparison, over 90% of Chicago Booth students were employed at graduation.
Despite their 5th and 6th place rankings, Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB remain top choices for Personal MBA Coach clients (which, as we discuss below, is a reminder that these rankings are only ONE piece of the puzzle). Further, Stanford GSB continues to report the highest average GMAT score (737) and lowest acceptance rate (8.6%) in the top ten. However, as discussed below, student selectivity comprised only 25% of the total score.
Yale School of Management tied for #8 this year with Michigan Ross, up two spots from #9 in 2022. Closing out the top ten is NYU Stern, returning to the #10 place it held in the 2021 and 2022 rankings.
UVA Darden and Cornell Johnson have not seen much fluctuation. UVA Darden remained 14th for a second year in a row, whereas Cornell Johnson has ranked 15th since 2021, tying with USC Marshall only this year.
US News Rankings Methodology
The changes in this year’s ranking are largely due to changes in the rankings methodology used by US News. Most notably, employment data (referred to as Placement Success) now makes up 50% of a school’s overall score. Previously, the weight of placement was only 35%.
Quality Assessment, which includes both peer assessment score and recruiter assessment score, makes up 25% of the score (down from 40%). The other 25% of the score is based on Student Selectivity, which includes both GMAT/GRE score, average GPA and acceptance rate.
It is important to note that Median GMAT/GRE score was used for the first time this year, which means outlier scores have less effect on rankings. This may be seen as welcome news for unique applicants with a low test score, as the change in ranking methodology could lead admissions directors to consider applicants they might previously have excluded.
These rankings and methodology changes are not without controversy, which is why it is even more important this year to remember that rankings are NOT the be-all, end-all.
How to Use MBA Rankings
Personal MBA Coach would like to remind you that changes over time are more significant than year-to-year and guide-to-guide fluctuations. The constant shuffling at the top demonstrates the growing competition among elite business schools.
While the M7 business schools receive a lot of attention, Personal MBA Coach urges our clients to consider a broad range of schools. Our average client applies to five to seven programs to maximize their chances of acceptance.
For more information on how to use the US News Best Business Schools 2023-2024 report or other MBA rankings, check out our tips in this blog.
Beyond MBA rankings, in choosing a business school you should consider factors including a school’s location, culture, academic programming, areas of specialization, and job placement rate. Similarly, culture and teaching style vary across schools. To learn more, we encourage you to review Personal MBA Coach’s new school guides.
Finally, available financing also should be a key consideration since you may be able to secure more funding from one school versus another. Last cycle, Personal MBA Coach’s clients earned $10M in scholarships. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be inclined to select a school with a more favorable financial package regardless of ranking. Some M7 schools are very generous with scholarships while others award them much more sparingly.
Looking for help with school selection? Reach out today for a free consultation!